Damien Becomes First School To Win Two NDCA National Championships

The National Debate Coaches Association National Championships has quickly grown to become one of the most prestigious high school debate tournaments in the United States. Since relaunching in 2006, the NDCA National Championships have brought together the vast majority of the nation’s best policy debate teams for an intense postseason tournament. This year’s champion was Nadeem Farooqi and Pablo Gannon from Damien High School in La Verne, California. The win marks Damien’s second in the past three years and gives them the honor of being the first team ever to win the NDCA National Championships twice.

The results from each of the six NDCA National Championships tournaments are presented along with some statistics below the fold.


Results are available for all six tournaments. The only thing missing from the historical record is the packet (cumulative results sheet) from the first tournament in 2006. If anyone has a copy that they could scan, please let the author know.

  • 2006 — Civil Liberties
  • 2007 — National Service
  • 2008 — Sub-Saharan Africa
  • 2009 — Alternative Energy
  • 2010 — Social Services
  • 2011 — Military Presence

Past Champions

Five schools have won the NDCA National Championships. By winning the 2011 title, Damien became the first school to win the tournament twice.

2006 — Georgetown Day School (Edmund Zagorin & Shezaad Zainulbhi, Zack Beauchamp & James Brockway – close-out)
2007 — Westminster Schools (Anshu Sathian & Stephen Weil)
2008 — St. Mark’s School of Texas (Jordan Blumenthal & Alex Katz)
2009 — Damien High School (Reid Ehrlich-Quinn & Sean Hernandez)
2010 — The Bronx High School of Science (Zack Elias & Andrew Markoff)
2011 — Damien High School (Nadeem Farooqi & Pablo Gannon)

Interestingly, the first two champions were also recipients of the Baker Award. Since then, no team has been able to win both the Baker and the NDCA National Championships.

Past Top Speakers

No school has earned two top speaker awards. On three occasions, the top speaker also claimed the championship: Zack Beauchamp of Georgetown Day in 2006, Stephen Weil of Westminster in 2007, and Pablo Gannon of Damien in 2011.

2006 — Zack Beauchamp, Georgetown Day School
2007 — Stephen Weil, Westminster Schools
2008 — William Karlson, Stratford Academy
2009 — Katryna Cadle, Bishop Guertin High School
2010 — Layne Kirshon, The Kinkaid School
2011 — Pablo Gannon, Damien High School

Elimination Round Appearances

Over the last six years, 36 schools have reached the elimination rounds at least once. The teams with the most elimination round appearances are:

  1. Glenbrook South, Westminster — 7
  2. Glenbrook North, Woodward — 6
  3. Damien, Greenhill, Lexington — 5
  4. Carrollton Sacred Heart, Georgetown Day, St. Mark’s — 4
  5. Bishop Guertin, College Prep, Edgemont — 3

In the same span, 26 schools have reached the quarterfinals. The schools that have had the most teams reach the quarterfinals are:

  1. Glenbrook South — 5
  2. Damien, St. Mark’s — 4
  3. Bishop Guertin, Glenbrook North, Westminster, Woodward — 3

Teams from 14 schools have reached the semifinals, half of whom have advanced two teams that far. They are:

  1. Damien, St. Mark’s, Westminster — 3
  2. Bishop Guertin, Georgetown Day, Glenbrook South, Woodward — 2

In the six-year history of the tournament, nine schools have reached the final round with Damien, Georgetown Day, and Westminster the only schools to do so on two occasions.

  1. Damien, Georgetown Day, Westminster — 2
  2. Bishop Guertin, Bronx Science, Colleyville Heritage, Glenbrook North, Kinkaid, St. Mark’s — 1

24 thoughts on “Damien Becomes First School To Win Two NDCA National Championships

  1. Anon

    Congrats to Damien .. what an accomplishment!

    Anyone know how the finals went down between Damien and Westminster?

    1. ndca

      Damien went for a defense spending good / Afghan budget cuts bad DA with a CP to sell F-15's and F-18's to the Philippines

    1. Bill Batterman Post author

      The original tournament was held in the fall and was not billed as a national championship; it's primary raison d'etre was to raise funds for the Barton Scholars program. I'm not sure why they stopped holding it… my guess is that it wasn't proving to be a good return on investment.

      I'm currently working on compiling a history of the NDCA and have been in contact with many of the founding members. If any lurkers want to share their thoughts, send me an email.

  2. Nick

    And Stratford–6th seed as a sophomore/freshman team is badass. They've got an incredible career ahead of them

    1. mcihael

      jeez! thats incredible. Does anyone know when these two started debating (like middle school?)

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